Customer Reviews


15 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


77 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for those seeking answers
This book has had a profound influence on my life. I don't think it should be read by those whose Christian faith is a great comfort and help to them, or those whose religious beliefs give validity to their lives. To his credit, the author states he does not want to turn these people away from Christianity; he is addressing people like myself who have deep doubts and...
Published on 10 Nov 2003

versus
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bid to salvage some of Christianity for a secular age.
In this wide-ranging work the openly rebellious author, starting with his own enounter with prejudice in the church, goes on a tour of modern thought that draws upon science,feminism,Khun's paradigm shifts, theories of truth and reference, sociology and psychology. In such a vast range some of the discussion is inevitably superficial. I was surprised to find Marx as the...
Published on 26 Aug 2001 by Dr. Christopher I. Pelton


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

77 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for those seeking answers, 10 Nov 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Doubts and Loves (Paperback)
This book has had a profound influence on my life. I don't think it should be read by those whose Christian faith is a great comfort and help to them, or those whose religious beliefs give validity to their lives. To his credit, the author states he does not want to turn these people away from Christianity; he is addressing people like myself who have deep doubts and need answers.
Like many people brought up in the Christian tradition, for many years I went along unquestioningly with the received wisdom that the Bible was holy, the teachings of the Church must be true, and Jesus had mystical powers which could save me from going to hell. I also carried around the guilt which goes with the territory, realising that I couldn't live up to the Church's expectations.
As a direct result of reading another book (the first book that I bought from Amazon), I began to question and had doubts, especially with the teaching that babies are born in sin. I read all sorts of books, but they never gave me the complete answer I was looking for.
There were plenty of sceptical books which dealt with the inconsistencies and theological problems associated with Christianity, but they all left an unsatisfying vacuum.
Most pulled religion apart but offered nothing to replace it. If you took on board their arguments, you were left with either trying another religion, (and finding yourself with exactly the same uncomfortable feeling that you were following man-made dogma, based on a beautiful but unbelievable myth ), or with a cold and impersonal belief in science as the only truth.
Richard Holloway's book gave me answers AND a way forward. It was the book I had been wanting to read for many years although I didn't know it.
I don't think it could have been written by anyone else; his unique position as a former Priest and Bishop means he can speak with 'inside knowledge' and this allows the reader to feel they can trust his insight and vision as he has truly seen both sides and been where we cannot go.
He is truly a deeply compassionate man and I think he is the secular equivalent of a Saint if such a thing exists. His acceptance and love (in it's truest sense) for minority groups such as gay people is far closer to the way Jesus acted and taught than the homophobic hatred and cruelty shown over the centuries by the Established Church to women, homosexuals, Jews and others. His willingness to stand up to the Establishment and active proposal of radical change, is sadly all too rare in the Church.
Richard Holloway explains how we can ethically take on board all the best of Christianity without believing literally in its myths or accepting its dogma, much of which was originally adopted because it suited the needs of the times for which it was originally designed.
He explains that it is perfectly possible to follow the teachings of Jesus the man, updated for our times, without slavishly having to conform with the laws and dictates of past Church leaders. That leaves me personally in a very comfortable position and takes away my guilt. If society as a whole adopted this philosophy, I am sure it would be a much happier world.
The only negative criticism of the book I have, is that although it is very well written, a few parts of it are rather challenging for the average lowbrow reader like me who is not familiar with theological and philosophical terms and ideas.
I have to confess that as soon as words such as 'eschatology ' and 'Kuhnian Paradigms ' crop up in the narrative, my eyes tend to glaze over).
This would not be a problem for many readers as it is no more difficult than many other serious science or philosophy books, but I just feel that it is such an important subject that the content should be accessible to all, even those whose only reading material is the astrology predictions in magazines.
I would be so pleased if Richard Holloway could write an alternative version of his book in easier language, spelling out the more difficult concepts pedantically, so that it is read by a wider audience.
Perhaps the choice of style was deliberate, in order that his material is only read by intellectuals; he does not wish to be the catalyst for the Church's staunch followers turning away in droves, as they would if they all read his book!
However, I know there are many other non-university educated, average people like me who would have their lives changed for the better by reading this book, but would likely be put off by the effort involved in following the arguments.
If read by a wide audience, this book could start an amazing revolution and one day be a seminal classic revered for its role in changing society for the better.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bid to salvage some of Christianity for a secular age., 26 Aug 2001
By 
Dr. Christopher I. Pelton (Shropshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In this wide-ranging work the openly rebellious author, starting with his own enounter with prejudice in the church, goes on a tour of modern thought that draws upon science,feminism,Khun's paradigm shifts, theories of truth and reference, sociology and psychology. In such a vast range some of the discussion is inevitably superficial. I was surprised to find Marx as the last prophet. The key insight is that "theology is really another aspect of psychology". He attempts to describe a convincing version of Christianity based solely on the human meaning in the Bible; one that avoids both fundamentalism and scepticism and is consonant with a rational,ethical, practical and contemporary life. While this may bolster a wavering Guardian-reading Christian, there is little new here to inspire an agnostic and the values are common to many systems. He is good at summarising other writers'ideas.Few could disagree with the Christian virtues he advocates, but the problem he fails to address is the eternal one of how we are to achieve any of them. I preferred the colourful style and directness of "Godless Morality". A small quibble-- the lack of an index in a scholarly work is irritating.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN ESSENTIAL READ, 23 Oct 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Doubts and Loves (Paperback)
In this title, Holloway succeeds in eloquently and beautifully articulating some extremely difficult theological questions and conundrums in an entertaining and accessible manner.
Using a blend of his own character and style and extensive quotations from as far afield as Freud to the Gospel according to Mark, Holloway puts his many concepts on the nature of our consciousness, the nature of God and its relation to the Church across expertly.
I found myself thanking Holloway out loud for having the intelligence and insight to articulate ideas i realised i held but had no name for. Despite this i found i did not wholeheartedly agree with all points made in this book, however the author writes in such a way as to make it difficult for the reader to find sound reason to disagree.
Love it or hate it, this book will make you think, and keep on thinking long after the final chapter.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Atheist's Perspective, 14 Jan 2014
This review is from: Doubts and Loves: What Is Left of Christianity (Paperback)
Upon telling my Dad that I was an atheist, every Christmas without fail he would give me a book from a religious apologist designed to make me question my new views. Previously I got Keith Ward's book 'Why There Almost Certainly Is a God' and hated it. Finding it immensely condescending. Hence I was reluctant to approach my dad's latest offering. I needn't have been.

Doubts and Loves is a fascinating book which covers a vast array of theological and philosophical topics as Holloway attempts to comes to terms with his profound sadness that he is losing his religion. Indeed he asks the reader if after writing this book he can still consider himself a Christian. Make no mistake Holloway is no raging anti- theist, but having been a prominent Anglican cleric he is tired and frustrated by the church's staunch refusal to change.

The book is beautifully written and accessible though did force me to put it down occasionally and think about what I've just been told. I remember a section on the use of language, which while in no way trail blazing was the first time I'd come across the issue. It thrilled me and Holloway's careful approach left me hungry to dig deeper. Indeed I feel that this book is a taster which encourages deeper reading but with enough small dishes to sate your appetite.

To conclude this is a book for everyone who wants a measured accounts of the problems facing mainstream religion and how to move forward and solve them. Its a humble book and it's very hard to disagree with. Yet a must-buy, I've already lent my copy around my friends and they've all found it fascinating, you will too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars full of insight, 21 Aug 2014
By 
Mr. D. P. Jay (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doubts and Loves: What Is Left of Christianity (Paperback)
This is the sort of book which, upon reading it, I say to myself that I’ve been thinking on these lines for about forty years. It is good to know that I am not the only one to think like this.

He starts off with the vehemence and hatred exhibited by bishops at the 1988 Lambeth Conference. The author had what, to me, would be Saul being present at the stoning of Stephen. The students who witnessed all these homophobes, and were working in the kitchens and elsewhere to make some extra cash, all witnessed to those bishops by wearing the rainbow flag in one for or other.

Holloway suggests that once women were accepted into the hierarchy, the fundamentalists had lost. The Church has decided to ignore that biblical text. I wonder if this should lead to the acceptance of same-sex marriage. If you can change the matter in the sacrament of ordination, why not in the sacrament of marriage?

Holloway cares passionately about Christianity but fears that having fallen into the hands of the fundamentalists, it will die or, at least, dwindle into a sect.

He is also passionate about symbol and metaphor. Those who flatten it into dogmatic literalism are unable to accept any truth claims that are different from their own.

He is not a literal realist but hovers midway between Don Cupitt’s non-realism and critical realism,. I hold to the latter.

People fear relativism but what many of us are into isn’t relativism, it’s pluralism. And pluralism is quite orthodox when you bring Aquinas into it.

Holloway writes a lot about religious language. You can’t avoid it. However, he oversimplifies when he uses the phrase ‘sodomy is sin’. He says that ‘sin’ had many meanings but ‘sodomy’ doesn’t. Nothing could be farther than the truth. That word has had many meanings down the centuries.

Where is progressive leadership today? Most church leads are a century behind the people they think are following them.

He looks at layers of meaning in some bible passages that emerge if you don’t take them literally.

He should know better than to take A. N. Wilson as an authority on Paul.

He shares my experience that liberal Christians and liberal Jews have more in common with each other than with their conservative co-religionists.

He wants us to follow Jesus, as did Albert Schweitzer, rather than merely talk about him.

House group leaders occasionally ask me for suggestions of books they could study which aren’t simplistic and evangelical. There aren’t many these days but this is one which I will add to my list of ideas.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Godless Christianity?, 22 Oct 2001
In 'Doubts and Loves' Richard Holloway seems to have completed the development from the conservative theologian with liberal moral attitudes of his early works to an agnostic who centres the meaning of Jesus fairly and squarely in the human experience without any external reference. The man, who in his earlier writings revealed himself as happily agnostic about miracles like the resurrection, focusing instead on their theological meaning, now only hopes to have the grace to listen politely to people's beliefs in a reality outside ourselves.
In 'Doubts and Loves' Holloway examines the major Christian myths with his usual brilliance, putting them in their historical context, thus freeing their inherent meaning, in a liberating narrative and laying the foundations for a Christianity that those of us still 'dancing on the edge' can subscribe to. This book is still required reading for any Christian with a modern enquiring mind. But be prepared to have the core of your faith, that of the existence of a divine reality, assaulted in the process. Because we can have no real verifiable experience of this reality, it is better to live based on the premise that it might not exist, Holloway appears to say.
I've never fully understood this paradox inherent in modern thinking. When man thought he was the centre of the universe he was quite content to believe that he had been created by a superior power that had claims on him. Now that science has shown us our own limitations and insignificance in so many ways, we apparently have to believe, as if by some compensatory process, that every positive live-force and love-force we experience is entirely inherent in ourselves. A belief in the 'superhuman' is not seen as a belief in a reality outside ourselves, which we are simply too ill-equipped to perceive with any degree of satisfaction, but is equated with a child-like believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden.
What happened to this most moving of all Holloway metaphors, this 'strange love that haunts the universe'?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A gift of a price; very pleased, 16 Mar 2014
By 
J. W. James (Cardiff UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Doubts and Loves: What Is Left of Christianity (Paperback)
There were light pencil commets written in places but overall the book was in good condition
and was a good read at a gift of a price so I am very pleased
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, 24 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A very lucid account of Richard;'s developing thoughts and feelings about christianity and the churches. yes, challenging but full of quiet wisdom.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars exceptional study of belief/values in our society, 5 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Doubts and Loves: What Is Left of Christianity (Paperback)
Exceptional book written by a man of great integrity . It is comforting & stimulating to know that I'm not alone in "dancing on the edge" & that doubt is not to be hidden/dismissed-- it can lead to greater exploration into the spiritual aspects of life. Holloway doesn't skirt round problems but meets them head on. Holloway's autobiography is also important as it demonstrates the honesty, thought & love of the man who admits to his own shortcomings & pain --quite uplifting.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jesus breaks the rules! a book for thinking Christians, 23 Oct 2002
By 
johnnybird (Tousanne Arizona) - See all my reviews
Richard Holloway, of long-suffering service in Africa & Europe, here continues his project of explaining culture to its Christian despisers. . . .or is it the other way round? In sequential chapters, he takes on many pillars of the faith and shows where shibboleths or sacred cows have obscured the good news that was embodied in Jesus son of Joseph (and brother of James); the grace that we encounter somehow amidst the obscurities, doubts and pains inherent in our experience. The Jesus he proclaims is a lover of deeds, not words, little sister. We may choose to misread Schweitzer's conclusion to "The Quest of the Historical Jesus" (1906) as quietism; +Richard is more right-on when he reminds us we encounter Jesus in those with whom we share bread or shelter or the comfort of presence in the midst of captivity. A speaker of healing words.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Doubts and Loves: What Is Left of Christianity
Doubts and Loves: What Is Left of Christianity by Richard Holloway (Paperback - 11 Aug 2005)
£6.48
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews